The Coast Guard, EPA and local emergency crews are responding to a vessel sinking and oil discharge into the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa, Monday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report at approximately 4:30 p.m., that the 144-foot towboat Stephen L. Colby struck a submerged object near LeClaire causing it to sink. At the time of the sinking, nine crewmembers were aboard and all were able to make it to safety.
The Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 493 to mile maker 501 on the upper Mississippi River to allow for safe, effective cleanup and salvage operations. Coast Guard personnel, along with Illinois EPA and local emergency response crews, are taking action to evaluate and respond to environmental damage.
Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reported to be on board the sunken vessel.
“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies are rapidly assessing and responding to the evolving situation” said Capt. Byron Black, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River, “Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of people, the environment and the waterway. We have personnel on scene actively responding to the incident.”
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
US Coast Guard, November 26, 2013